Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce hails Costel Pantilimon

Sunderland Gates

Sunderland's Sam Allardyce believes Costel Pantilimon has been in excellent form.

Sam Allardyce has told the Chronicle that he believes Sunderland goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon has been 'great' so far this season.

Allardyce has taken over the Premier League's weakest defence, and he has already expressed a desire to ensure that his team tighten up at the back.

However, the 60-year-old is not concerned about his goalkeeper - who he says has been in excellent form to date this campaign.

“[Costel] Pantilimon has done a great job," he said. "He was at Man City for a while and forced his way into the team here last season and did a good job."

Pantilimon has been called into action a lot since breaking into Sunderland's first-team last season. 

The Romanian was expected to be brought in as back-up to Vito Mannone back in 2014, but he has soon established his place as number one and has looked relatively secure ever since.

Pantilimon is an excellent shot-stopper and, because of his size, he can also dominate his area when crosses are launched into the box.

He has arguably been the Black Cats' most consistent performer to date this campaign, and Allardyce will be hoping that the goalkeeper's good form continues under his stewardship.

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